Meet Senior Constable Jason Wheeler – The Queensland Police Officer Who Refused to Send a Patrol Car to Save Donna and Jordan Rice From Drowning – And Seemed Not to Care

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Many Australians have learnt in recent days about the policeman who took two emergency triple O phone calls from a woman named Donna Rice who was stranded in a flood with her kids, but cared so little that he didn’t even make the effort to record her name correctly, and couldn’t be bothered to save her and her son by taking the simple step of sending a car.

The officer’s name is Senior Constable Jason Allen Wheeler, a policeman who has been in the force since 1994.

Three weeks before he took Donna Rice’s two triple zero emergency calls Wheeler had been stood from active uniformed duty as a consequence of an internal charge being laid against him for misconduct. That is the sole reason that he was in the police operations call center that day, and why he took Donna’s call.

The ground for the charge of misconduct was an allegation – found proven – that Wheeler had unlawfully assaulted an aboriginal teenager under the age of 17.

What had happened was that on the evening of 13 December 2010 Wheeler had attended the Police Christmas Party, and at about midnight decided to walk home, almost certainly because he had been on the turps all night and was as full as a fowl although the tribunal in its infinite wisdom – and presumably with the benefit of a breathalyser and a time travel machine, because Wheeler was not at the time required to blow in the bag even though he should have been – determined that although the Senior Constable had been drinking during the evening, he was not intoxicated.

On his leisurely, staggering ramble home from the police piss up Wheeler encountered a couple of Aboriginal youths who he claimed threatened him with a garden stake and told him that they were going to roll him (Wheeler would later tell internal investigators that there were 6 youths, but there is no evidence whatsoever to support his claim).

Quite wisely Wheeler hit the toe and took a bolt, and once  safely out of ‘getting rolled with a garden stake’ range the off duty officer whipped out his mobile phone and called the station to report what had happened. I strongly suspect that he urged his colleague who answered the call to get out their quick and give it to the little black bastards, but as no recording or transcript of his call was ever tendered my contention can be neither proven nor disproved.

In any event his fellow officers got to the scene pretty damn quick, and within 15 minutes had apprehended the suspected law-breaking aboriginal youths and located the garden stake.

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Somehow Wheeler became aware that the trio of youths had been located and detained, and you can only speculate that it was because one of the officers who had effected the arrest of the youths had called his colleague the Senior Constable to tell him, although given that inexplicably no phone records were sourced or produced by the internal investigation team or requested by the QCAT tribunal members we will never know.

Upon learning of the arrest Wheeler sped back to the scene of the crime. We are in the dark as to how he got there, but he was fast because it was a mere 20 minutes after he had allegedly been threatened by the teenagers before he was back, and in that intervening 1200 seconds the officer’s fear had evaporated. Now he was angry, very bloody angry, and the little bastard who’s threatened to hit him with a stick was going to pay.

Not unexpectedly for one who had been apprehended and restrained by the Senior Constable’s colleagues in his absence, the little bastard in question was lying prone on the ground when Wheeler arrived back at the scene.

The lad’s youth and his extreme state of vulnerability failed to ignite any flame of compassion in Wheeler’s heart however, because he immediately fired off a tirade of abuse directed at the kid on the ground – the tribunal found that although his language was inappropriate it wasn’t racist, to which I say ‘yeah right’ –  and then, after pushing one of his colleagues out of the way, Wheeler charged at the grounded youth and launched a boot straight into his right ribs.

The misconduct charge was laid about a week later and Wheeler was stood down immediately from active duty pending their resolution. In the real world he would have been suspended without pay and the matter referred to external police for prosecution, but the Queensland Police Service has never operated that way – why, some officers have even quite literally gotten away with murder, as I expect we will all discover when the Shirley Brifman inquest commences – so the Senior Constable was sent off to cool his heels in the Communications Centre.

Then a few weeks later it rained, and Donna Rice called triple O, and Wheeler told her to f*ck off and stop driving through water that wasn’t there at the time, and then thanks to a total balls up by the Council – I call it criminal negligence – a huge torrent of water arrived and my little mate Blake Rice and his two eldest brothers lost their best mate and their Mum. and my big mate John Tyson lost his wife and son, and they all lost half of themselves along the way.

Suddenly the police force had a problem. They couldn’t let the  fact that a copper who’d just kicked the crap out of an Aboriginal kid in custody who was lying prone and helpless on the ground become public; they’d be crucified.

That was bad enough in itself, but they had an even bigger problem, for if there was a crucifixion in the offing people might also start asking sticky questions such as ‘where was the Assistant Commissioner when all this drowning was happening, surely he wasn’t sitting down having a coffee and a sandwich in a food court during a f*cking flood? Especially after he’d just been out around town in the police car and seen what was going on out there?’ or ‘Hey someone said they saw a police car drive by the intersection while Jordan Rice was on the roof of the car in the middle of the torrent, shouldn’t we check the records to see if they were telling the truth?’

The police had problems all right, huge problems.

So the cover up kicked in.

Wheeler was sent on leave and the prosecution of his charges indefinitely stayed. This allowed the police to obtain a suppression order on both the internal investigation into the disgraceful way he dealt with Donna Rice’s emergency calls and his failure to send a car to save her and Jordan, and meant that Wheeler’s disciplinary charges weren’t disclosed because they had become sub-judice – it’s an age old trick – and thus couldn’t be printed and come into the public light.

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A statement taken from a witness that had been taken by a junior officer was discovered. The witness, a young local battler who enjoyed a more than occasional recreational puff of the green, had unwittingly given a statement that put the Assistant Commissioner in the food court with his coffee and sandwich at exactly the same time that Jordan had been swept from the roof of his Mum’s car and Donna had dived into the deadly dangerous waters to try to save him (you don’t hear much about that part of the story but it’s 100% true: that lady was an absolute bloody hero).

The witness statement was poison and a problem that needed to be fixed quick smart, or the Commissioner’s career might sink into the murky mire too.

So a promising young policeman with a thirst for climbing promotional ladders – and coincidentally a bloke whose brother I played footy with at good old Valleys forever in 1982, the year we won the U14 Super A comp, isn’t it a small world? – was called in and tasked with jogging the witness’s memory using the same method that was used on Blake Rice to turn shallow water into deep.

We’ll tell you all about this outrage tomorrow, but for now you can confidently take my word that Detective Inspector Mark Ainsworth performed his task with aplomb and all of a sudden the witness’s recollection of events had changed completely and miraculously the time frames he described now matched the version of his movements that the Assistant Commissioner had sworn were true.

Of course it was just a sheer coincidence that not long after D.I. Ainsworth’s talents were properly recognised by his superiors and rewarded by way of a promotion to the rank of Detective Superintendent, or that in a most unusual decision he was afforded approval to form and become a Director of his own private investigation firm whilst continuing to hold one of the more senior roles in the Queensland Police Service.

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‘A wholesale conflict of interest perhaps?’ I hear you ask. ‘One that leaves the D.S. open to any bugger alleging that he might farm what would otherwise and more properly be police work off to his private firm?’

Nah mate, wash your mouth out with soap – this is Queensland, that sort of nonsense doesn’t happen here, no bloody way.

The dead woman and kids Dad caused a few problems too after someone tipped him off about the content of the triple O calls and he started running around telling journos that they were crook, and that he suspected the fix was in. So the Assistant Commissioner paid him a visit to have a chat a few days after the twin funerals, and made sure that he turned on the secret recording device in his wristwatch before he walked through John Tyson’s door and plonked his bum on the couch, although he forgot to mention the fact that he was recording their chat to John.

That was merely an oversight of course, but it was a damn shame because had the A/C told the freshly minted widower that he was recording their conversation then John might have made a recording too, and then we would be able to definitely solve what it for me one of the most troubling in a series of highly troubling events in the whole sordid and incredibly sad saga.

You see John Tyson has claimed ever since the meeting that after exchanging pleasantries and offering his condolences and promising the world to him by way investigation into his wife’s death, the Assistant Commissioner suddenly and unexpectedly turned nasty, and told him in no uncertain terms that if he kept running around pointing the finger at police and accusing them of complicity in his wife and kid’s death then he (the A/C) would personally ensure that members of his force would fuck John and what was left of his family six ways to Sunday.

The Assistant Commissioner of course has consistently denied this claim made by John, and had produced as evidence of his assertions a copy of the covert recording he made of the unprompted meeting convened at his volition with a grieving victim who had not and has never been accused of any crime.

John says that the A/C’s lying, and that what in fact must have happened is that the A/C – a renowned technology expert once in charge of police IT – must have switched off the recording somewhere between the end of the nice phase of their chat and the beginning of the threats. In fact after he became aware that the A/C had been taping him as they talked and learned how, John thought back to that day and swears that the A/C was fiddling with his watch while they chatted.

Of course I am absolutely unable to vouch for the accuracy of John’s recollection, or to positively attest to whether the allegation he makes is true, but I can simply say with hand firmly on my heart two things,

The first is that in all the years I have been acquainted with John Tyson not once have I ever known him to lie or to tell a deliberate lie. He is in fact one of the most honest men that I have ever encountered, and that is coming from someone who most people that know me call the most hard-bitten, untrusting cynic that they have ever met, and they make the claim on fair grounds too.

The second is that not long after John’s fireside chat with the Assistant Commissioner a strange series of events occurred that involved his sons being harassed and physically attacked, receiving a seemingly never end of abusive phone calls to his home, cars driving by the house day and night carrying people hurling abuse at he and the boys, and then ultimately – and chillingly – an unidentified gunman spraying bullets at the family home.

John made complaints to police about the incidents but they appeared disinterested in investigating his reports about these crimes, even after the gun was fired at his home, and even though at that early stage of his grief he personally couldn’t care a toss if he lived or died, it all got to a point where he became so fearful for his sons well being that he was forced to sell his house at short notice, pack up and move out of the town that he’d lived in all of his life.

Now I am not for a single second suggesting that there was or is any relationship between these events and the visit by the Assistant Commissioner to John’s home that both parties remember in such diametrically opposed detail. I make no claim whatsoever that the two are linked in any way.

All I’m saying is that in a world in which grown men wearing blue uniforms given to them as a reward for taking an oath to uphold the truth can be demonstrated to have manipulated the words of a grief-struck child describing the circumstances of how his Mum died and twisted them into lies, there is no truth anymore that could ever be stranger than fiction.

Nothing can be discounted as untrue no matter how odd it may appear. Not even a salacious story about a policeman sinking the slipper into a kid in custody lying handcuffed and helpless on the ground, and deemed by a tribunal of law to have had committed a most heinous crime, yet suffering neither sanction nor summon to appear before a court to be punished for his ill-deeds is too strange to be true in a crazy world where truth and justice ain’t worth a hill of beans.

In the Queen’ s Land it seems the more things change, the more they truly stay the same.

You can read the full original text of the judgement in Senior Constable John Wheeler’s QCAT case by clicking here

Jason Allen Wheeler v Assistant Commissioner of Police (2013) QCAT 519

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REASONS FOR DECISION

[1] This is an Application to review the decision of Assistant Commissioner Paul Wilson made on 10 December 2012. That decision was made in respect of a charge of misconduct against Senior Constable Jason Wheeler, namely:

  • That on or about the 14th day of December 2010 at Toowoomba your conduct did not meet the standard of conduct the community reasonably expects of a police officer in that you:
  • Unlawfully assaulted one X.1

[2] In relation to this charge, Mr Wheeler accepted the allegation of misconduct at the time of filing his written submissions in response to the initial investigation.

[3] Assistant Commissioner Wilson imposed the following sanction:

a) that the Applicant be reduced in rank from Senior Constable pay 2.9 to Constable pay 1.6 for 2 years and at the end of the 2 year period, he immediately return to his original rank and salary at Senior Constable 2.9;

(1 Pursuant to a decision of the Tribunal dated 11 March 2013 the names of the juveniles are not to be published)

b) the reduction in rank be suspended for a period of 2 years on condition that the Applicant:

i) does not commit any further acts of misconduct during the period;
ii) completes 250 hours of community service within 2 years; and
iii) not perform higher duties, relieving during the 2 year period.

[4] Mr Wheeler’s Solicitor submits that the above sanctions are excessive in each respect, including the conditions relating to the suspension of the sanction. The Tribunal notes that although the records are incomplete the Applicant’s research reveals that 250 hours is the highest number of hours ever imposed on an officer. The Respondent does not dispute that assertion.

[5] Section 219G of the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 confers on this Tribunal review jurisdiction.

[6] The review is to be by way of rehearing on the original evidence given in the proceeding before the original decision-maker unless the Tribunal gives leave to a party to adduce fresh additional or substituted evidence. Neither party has sought such leave.

[7] In carrying out the review, the Tribunal adopts the approach as set out by the Tribunal in Murray v Deputy Commissioner Stewart [2011] QCAT 583 at paragraph [40] which is as follows:

Considerable respect is paid in this tribunal to the view of the original decision-maker (cf. Aldrich v Ross [2001] 2 QdR 235), but when the Tribunal clearly reaches a different view its duty is to act in accordance with its own view. Aldrich v Ross (at p.257) recognises that the independent review tribunal is the only vehicle by which the public perspective is brought to bear in Police disciplinary matters, and accordingly there will be cases where it will be appropriate and necessary to depart from the views of the original decision-maker.

[8] ‘Misconduct’ is defined in s 1.4 of the Police Service Administration Act 1990 as  conduct that:

(a) is disgraceful, improper or unbecoming an officer; or
(b) shows unfitness to be or continue as an officer; or
(c) does not meet the standard of conduct the community reasonably expect of a police officer.

[9] ‘Conduct’ is defined in s 7.2 of the Police Service Administration Act 1990 as follows:
Conduct means any conduct of an officer, wherever and whenever it occurring, whether the officer whose conduct is in question is on or off duty at the time the conduct occurs.

[10] The relevant details of the event are that on the evening of 13 December 2010, Senior Constable Wheeler had attended a Police Christmas function. He was off duty. He was walking home alone. It was nearmidnight. He had been drinking alcohol but was not intoxicated. Whilst walking home he was confronted by two youths who acted aggressively towards him; one threatened him with a garden stake and threatened to ‘roll him’. He feared for his safety, he identified himself as a Police Officer and ran from the scene. The youths gave chase; Senior Constable Wheeler believed that up to six were involved. He sought police assistance. Shortly afterwards Police attended the area and arrested three youths and located the stake.

[11] Senior Constable Wheeler returned to the scene where he came across three persons, two of whom he identified. They were in custody and were lying prone on the ground. He approached these persons, swore at them, pushed past the arresting Police Officer and unlawfully assaulted X by kicking him the right ribs. Subsequently, these three persons were charged with attempted armed robbery against Senior Constable Wheeler, but the prosecution of those charges was discontinued for reasons unrelated to Senior Constable Wheeler’s behaviour.

[12] Assistant Commissioner Wilson found Senior Constable Wheeler was honest and forthright in his answers during the investigation of the complaint against him and he was remorseful for his actions.

[13] Assistant Commissioner Wilson further found:

  • that Senior Constable Wheeler was a victim of an armed attempted robbery;
  •  that at the time of the incident he feared for his safety;
  •  that he used inappropriate but not racist language towards the persons who had threatened him at the time and were in police custody;
  • that he pushed past the arresting officer and assaulted X by kicking him;
  •  in doing so he placed the arresting officer in an invidious position;
  •  the kick was light and was not intended to cause X pain but was the result of clouded judgment and he kicked him in disgust. However, Senior Constable Wheeler’s conduct constituted an unlawful assault;
  • that the predicament he placed his colleagues in by pushing past them and assaulting X whilst he was in custody was inexcusable;
  •  that at least 20 minutes had expired from the time when Senior Constable Wheeler contacted the police to when he returned to the scene and kicked X;
  • that Senior Constable Wheeler’s conduct breached the provisions of the Human Resources Management Manual in that he acted in a manner which adversely reflected on the Service generally and on himself as a member of the Service contravening that section;
  • that his actions in kicking the complainant whilst in a prone position on the ground constituted a criminal offence.

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Lies and Deceit are Like Dark, Swirling Rivers – They Always End Up at the Bottom of the Sea – As the Water Clears the True Story of the Deaths of Donna Rice and Her Son Jordan Begins to be Told

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I wrote and published the story in the article reprinted below more than two years ago.

I’m not telling you this to boast – although given that I was years ahead of the mainstream media on the story I would have good grounds to – but rather to illustrate just how long the Tyson/Rice family have been battling for justice their lost mother and brother, and as a prelude to posing this simple question: if I could look at the issue and immediately spot the deliberate, and arguably criminal, perversion of the truth that occurred, why couldn’t anyone else?

John and Blake Tyson are mates of mine, and have been to my home on several occasions. I would have gone to theirs too, but during the long years that they were shouting and nobody was listening this pair of fantastic blokes whose world was ripped apart in a single minute six years ago were reduced to living in their car.

Before the accident John had, through grit and hard work, come from nothing to build up two successful businesses and had assets worth more than a million dollars. He lost, gave away or was robbed of it all after Donna and Jordan died.  Those who exploited him during his time of unthinkable grief – including the senior politicians from both sides of Parliament who broke promises they made to John, broke him financially and damn near broke his heart – are a disgrace. How they can sleep at night is a mystery to me.

John sunk into building an emergency response program that would prevent tragedies like the one that struck his family from befalling anyone else. The LNP –  then in opposition, and keen to use the then politically naive John and the huge degree of public sympathy felt for him to their own advantage – promised to implement it. Being politicians though they didn’t; after the LNP was elected to power John couldn’t even get anyone to take his calls, and his not-for-profit project and his life savings were sunk.

The money didn’t matter: Blake and John didn’t ask for handouts or sympathy or assistance from the government after their family was torn asunder in January 2011. All they asked for was the truth.

Of course, they didn’t get it, but what they did receive was millions of dollars in unprompted donations from kind people around the globe who were touched by his tragedy and wanted to help.

Being the kind of men they are John and Blake gave every cent, the whole lot, to the Flood Reconstruction Fund.

The government used the money to rebuild the Brisbane River Walk, hundreds of kilometres away from where Jordan and Donna had died. The whole lot., millions of dollars, while John and Blake slept in their car. Go figure.

When John later pleaded with the Palaszcsuk government for a small piece of public land on which he could erect a statue in honour of Jordan’s heroism he was told in no uncertain terms to piss off, even though the statue would be self-funded and wouldn’t cost the State of Queensland a thing other than a 3x3m patch of grass.

The Toowoomba Council offered him a small plaque on a park gate. The only catch was that John, by then unemployed and homeless on the Gold Coast, would have to maintain the park daily or pay someone else to do it. Your wife and kid died? Here catch, this is the petrol tin for the mower. Go fill it up and get to work, the grass is getting long. Don’t forget to do the edges.

The batterings just kept coming, one after the other.

Blake was bullied and bashed at school by kids who were resentful at the totally unwanted media attention he received after his Mum and brother died.

The family’s Toowoomba house was shot at by criminals undetected, unknown and at large still today – the police weren’t too interested in investigating; gee looking at today’s revelations I wonder why? – forcing John to sell it quickly for a song so he could get Blake out of town and keep him safe. The pair had to move 200km away to escape the inexplicable persecution, and later ended up on the street.

John’s older son fell apart under the weight of his grief and a guilt that he should never have been forced to feel, and wouldn’t have if the Queensland Police had done their job. He turned to drugs and lost the plot, and ended up in jail. Before the tragedy, he’d never been in trouble in his life.

Donna’s gravestone was changed without his knowledge or consent. John only found out one day when he and Blake were making their regular pilgrimage to the Council-owned cemetery where Donna and Jordan are laid to rest and to their horror saw that the 2-tonne stone had been removed, altered and replaced.

He tried to get answers.

The Toowoomba Council, upset at his repeated criticisms of the structural alterations to roads and waterways that had rendered his wife’s death site a swimming pool in heavy rain, wouldn’t help.

The stonemason company was owned by the Wagner brothers, and John had been assisting the Grantham victims in their (ultimately successful) campaign for a second inquiry into the cause of the flooding that ripped the heart out of their community and killed many of their own. They weren’t happy with John at all, and refused to give him answers or to restore the memorial to its original form.

Like they have for most of the past six years John and Blake found themselves all alone.

It seemed like the hammerings they were copping would never end, and my mate at times surely must have been wondering if he was the modern-day incarnation of Job. I will never know though because I didn’t ask. JT’s the sort of man who doesn’t complain, a bloke who when offered help or a shoulder to lean on will tell you to save it for someone who needs it, his deeply held belief being that there are plenty of people worse off than he is.

I’m was never quite sure exactly where they were, but once John sets his mind to something there’s no point arguing with him so I didn’t bother to ask. He’s got the inner strength of a bullock and the determination of an ox my mate, as the Queensland Police and Government are I imagine to their horror suddenly beginning to learn.

You couldn’t knock John Tyson down with an iron bar, and Blake’s cut from the same mould, so during all the years of their terrible travails they soldiered on, keeping their eyes firmly fixed on their goal of making the world aware of the terrible truths of the police negligence that resulted in Donna and Jordan’s death, and the high-level cover-ups and lies that followed which had resulted in Donna posthumously and totally incorrectly being apportioned blame for their deaths. John and Blake knew if they stuck with it they’d get there. All they needed was someone to listen to their story.

As incredible as it sounded on the first hearing, they knew that once a reporter suspended disbelief and dug into the evidence they would discover that what the man and boy who had lost their wife, mother, son and brother was true. Every single word of it, it was all true.

The police did lie.

They did manipulate Blake’s witness statement.

They did mislead the public about the three triple O calls Donna and Jordan made.

The police did other things too that you will learn all about in the fullness of time.

At least one other witness statement was altered. I suspect, but cannot at this stage prove, that by threat or promise the police coerced the witness who had given it – a young man named Edward Spark – into making another statement that is substantially different in content, time and form from the first, and oddly enough just so happens to match the story told by the Police Commander about his movements the day John and Blake Tyson’s family died. The first statement didn’t, and under close examination would have cast the veracity of the Commander’s sworn account into great doubt.

A police car with officers inside who might just have saved their lives did drive past Donna and Jordan while they were stranded in the floodwaters, but didn’t stop. Its movements are shown clearly in a PowerPoint presentation submitted to the Police Coroner’s inquiry into their deaths.  For reasons unknown that Coroners report has never been publicly released, and the evidence put before the Coroner remains hidden from broader view.  I’ve seen it however, and cried as over and over I watched the police car just drive on by.

The regional police commander did drive up to the intersection while the pair were stranded on the roof and did stop, but decided it was too dangerous and drove away and left them to drown. I’ve seen the evidence of that too; it’s difficult to dismiss given that it was prepared and submitted by the Queensland Police Force itself, based on police records of officer’s movements on the day.

What Blake and John have been saying for at least 5 years is true, it’s all true.

I’ve known it for a long time, ever since I became one of the rare few who have gained access to and bothered to read and disseminate the entire aggregation of the thick volumes of evidence, and in the intervening years I must to no avail have approached scores of journalists to tell them the tale and encourage them to write about it.

No-one said it out loud but almost to a person these reporters wrote me off as a conspiracy theorist, just as they had written John off as a bloke who by the sheer weight of his grief had become unhinged. ‘They’re both mad, this high-level of corruption couldn’t happen in Queensland’ I could see each of the journalists thinking, seemingly blind only thirty years after Fitzgerald to the fact that such corruption could indeed happen in Queensland, and for nearly half a century did.

Perhaps I am mad, but I can assure you that John isn’t, and the facts don’t lie; It was simply that no-one in the mainstream press took the substantial time required to investigate them.

And then along came gun investigative journalist Pamela Williams and now someone has.

Williams superb extended story about Blake’s falsified record of police interview is the beginning of the journey to the truth, not the end. There is much, much more to tell, and what you will learn over the coming weeks – if it can get past the News Corp lawyers and be printed – will cause you to question why you should ever trust the unverified assertions of police or government authorities again.

Donna Rice and her son Jordan didn’t drive into a flooded intersection to their deaths; they were simply ordinary people doing ordinary things who in a freak of terrible fortune became trapped in their car by a sudden torrent swollen waters. They died that day in those dark, swirling waters, but if the police had acted immediately they could and should have been saved. That’s the truth, and it always has been. It’s just some people in high places with a lot to lose didn’t want us to find out.

Bad luck to them.

The story of Donna and Jordan’s death and the events in the aftermath must be told, because but for the grace of God it could have been you in the car trapped in the rising waters that dreadful day not Donna, and your kid who was washed away and drowned in the torrent instead of John’s.

Then it would be your truth that is being swept away in a flood of lies and deliberate deceit, and you who died waiting for the policemen that never came; hoping, hoping, hoping to see that familiar flashing blue light, hoping, hoping, hoping until all hope was lost, and it became dark and still.

And then it would be you in the picture at the top wearing a black suit and carrying the pretty white wooden boxes with the lifeless bodies of your beloved wife and child inside. Placing them deep won a hole dug in the earth that hitherto you’d seen only in your darkest dreams; watching as the pretty white boxes are covered first with dark soil, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and then later littered with layers of foul, fetid lies.

It could have been you, it could have been you.

Donna and Jordan were ordinary people just like you and me. They lived, they laughed, they loved and they cried. And then one rain swept day they died. They can’t tell their story anymore; but we can, and we must.

Donna and Jordan are dead.

Don’t let the truth die with them.

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It is the Scandal of the Century – But It Ain’t Over Yet – Don’t You Worry About That – First Published 24 March 2015

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This is the transcript of the emergency call made to 000 by Donna Rice, the woman trapped in her car in a flash flood in Toowoomba in early 2011, with her 2 young sons in the back.

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A much-loved partner and mum, she was simply doing what we all do, ferrying her kids around town and undertaking the usual boring domestic chores, when out of nowhere suddenly the floodwaters hit.

She sought assistance from the police, the people we trust to protect us. All Donna received was scorn, from a man who could and should have taken action to secure her safety, and perhaps preserve her life.

Instead, just 10 minutes after making the emergency call Donna Rice and her eldest son Jordan were dead.

The circumstances of their death, and what happened afterward, is a national scandal. In fact it is a global scandal, of the highest dimension.

A man and his child are suffering still.  Their lives have been ruined, and injustice continues to be rained down upon them like daggers shot from a dark horseman’s bow.

The truth must be told.

And it will.

Justice demands it.